Friday, January 23, 2015

Homemade Almond Milk

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Homemade Almond Milk is amazing. I can't get over how the taste is so fresh! I would skip snacking for a cup of this creamy liquid.

All you need are raw almonds, a nut milk bag and a blender.

There is something so seriously satisfying about making your own nut milk! Not everyone can go out and milk a cow but you can milk a nut! Below I've included three tips for your best homemade nut milk, recipe for plain homemade almond milk, and three variations (two of which include seeds!)

I'm nuts for nut milk!

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Three Tips for the best Homemade Nut Milk
 
1. Soak your Nuts

This is best for your digestion and your blender.

The skin of raw almonds contain an enzyme inhibitor that prevents nutrient absorption. Soaking releases this enzyme, making for a more nourishing nut! The almonds need to soak at least 8 hours, preferably 12, and some raw foodists claim 24 hours for optimum results.

2. Use a Nut Milk Bag
 
Yes, it's true you can triple up layers of cheesecloth and try it that way. But trust me, use a nut milk bag. They are reusable and so much easier.
 
I have this Fine Mesh Reusable Large Nut Milk Bag from natural zing available on amazon. It's commercial sized. I like the shape but it is honestly a little big for my liking unless you're doubling recipes. I would recommend this size from Natural Zing . There are plenty nut milk bags out there. Just check them out here.
 
3.Sweet and Salt

Adding a little bit of both brings the flavor a long way. I like to add Pink Himalayan sea salt from Mountain Rose Herbs and some soaked dates. Soaking dates in hot water helps to soften them. Added bonus is using that water as the water to blend up the milk. Waste not!

Agave nectar or vanilla stevia extract can also be substituted for the dates.

So, remember: SBSS. Soak it! Bag it! Sweeten and Salt it!

I even came up with a jig to go along with that acronym which none of you will be privileged enough to see. Cheeky much? That's how I get when I talk about nuts. I mean almonds...

Which brings us to...

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Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds, soaked at least 8 hours
3 cups filtered water (+ additional 1/2 cup *optional)
4 dates *optional
Pinch of Salt
 
1. Blend in blender.
2. Over a large bowl, squeeze the milk out of the nut milk bag. Put your hand muscles into it!
3. *Optional: Add the additional 1/2 cup to blender. Blend to get remnants and pass through nut milk bag once more. This helps to get a little more.
4. Serve over a little ice or refridgerate in jars. Shake before pouring. 

Mix it up with different variations:
 
Hemp and Almond Milk Variation
3 cups raw almonds, soaked
1/3 cup raw hemp seeds
6-10 dates
4 cups water
Pinch of Salt
 
Almond and Pumpkin Seed Milk Variation
3 cups raw almonds, soaked
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked
6-10 dates
4 cups water
Pinch of Salt

Vanilla Bean Almond Milk
3 cups raw almonds, soaked
6-10 dates
4 cups water
Pinch of Salt
Scrapings of one vanilla bean*

*I buy these Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans - 16 beans (so juicy and plump).

Enjoy!
 
 
Also saw these Natural Air Purifying Himalayan Natural Crystal Salt 1 Tealight Candle Holder, 2-Pack were on sale on Amazon! They were mentioned in my post 12 Gifts for Crunchy Mommas. Two for the price of one? BOOYAH!
 
This post contains affiliate links. Buying through these links may help to support Sweet Roots! I thank all my sweet readers for your support!
 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

DIY: Inspirational Journal

Raise your hand if you have a pinterest folder dedicated to only Quotes (or wisdom or verses)!!! I know I do. I’ve collected quotes since I was in middle school. There is something so wonderful when someone else has captured perfectly what you needed to hear (or wanted to say). It’s this sense of resonance. This profound sigh of “Yes. That’s exactly it.”

 
This is a great idea to showcase all those inspirational quotes so you can see them every day (and not just when you peek in your pinterest folder).
 
And all you need is a journal and some sharpies!
 
Just figure out what quotes you would like, draw it on draft paper (or freestyle if you’re feeling wild), and then draw it on your journal.

I used these Sharpie Metallic Fine Point Markers for that extra shine.

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And if you need some journal prompts, check out all if these great ideas from Creative with Kids!

 
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Pecan Pie Celebration Cake




Tis the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ! 

What better way but with cake and maybe a little song?


Pecan Pie Celebration Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Raspberry Jam

2 cups coconut oil or palm shortening
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
1 TB molasses
6 large eggs
1 TB vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour
4 cups chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. With a mixer, beat the coconut oil,  sugar and molasses on high speed until whipped completely.
3. Add dry ingredients (except pecans). Mix with mixer. Fold in pecans.
4. Bake in two parchment lined and lightly greased 9" round cake tins for 35-40 minutes.
5. Remove and let cool.

To assemble,  sandwich the pecan cakes with a generous amount of raspberry jam (or jam of your choice) between and a chocolate ganache on top and outside.

For my chocolate frosting,  I whipped 1 cup coconut oil (room temp so solid) with about 4 TB hot water, 1/4 cocoa powder, and 1/4 cane sugar.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

12 Gifts for Crunchy Mamas

A Dozen Crunchy Mama Gifts



Gentleman, take heed...

IF you have a crunchy mother or wife who just happens to be big into natural, these gifts are sure to please. Don’t know? Check out this survey here from Inland Mama.

1. Dandy Blend




For nursing mothers, this drink is deliverance straight from the heavens. This herbal instant coffee is easy to prepare and has its own wonderful taste. Caffeine-free allows mommas to share with their kids (if they desire to do so).



Easy? Check. Delicious? Check. Mamas will want it, believe me.

2. Himalayan Ionic Salt Crystal Candle Holder and natural candles (Choose either beeswax or goodlight)




All those wonderful candles you buy us? Pregnant and nursing women have very sensitive noses so please make sure they are natural! And by natural, I mean scented with essential oils and made from beeswax, palm oil, or non-gmo soy. Also many commercial candles can have toxic fumes that can emit “reproductive toxins, neurotoxins, and carcinogens” (according to Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green and DIY). Buying natural avoids all that junk!

And why, you may ask, a pink salt candle holder?

This candle holder , when heated, becomes an ionizer and air purifier. When a candle is lit in this beautiful little holder, negative ions are released into the air. Negative Ions weigh down harmful particles (chemical odors, smoke, carbon monoxide, bacteria, mold, etc) and help reduce health problems caused by our environment (allergies, respiratory ailments, infections, and headaches). Great idea to use this in a room if there is electronic equipment, fluorescent lighting, air conditioners, HVAC systems, static producing fibers, older electronics, newer plastics, etc. as these things contribute to negative ion depletion. For example, fresh country air has forty times more negative ions than major cities at rush hour!

This is the only crystal I want for Christmas!

Find them on amazon.
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3. Slouchy Knit Hats


These are from the Etsy store Irismint (picture is from her site as well) and are made from Alpaca Wool. So beautiful!

We've all heard of the no-poo method (regarding shampoo, not the other poo – good luck with that one). And whether or not she’s gone all hippy-fied, these hats are too-darn-cute. Plus some days us mommas have to care for everyone else before we can hit the shower and these hats guarantee we can look cute while pretending we haven’t showered in the last two days.

If she’s really doing the no-poo method, check out Boar Bristle Brushes. They help distribute oils throughout the hair and supposedly makes the transition easier.

4. Essential Oils


Where to start with the amazing ambrosia that we call essential oil? First off, Lavender and Chamomile are great for de-stressing and calming down the kiddos. Us crunchy mamas rely on those two a lot. Clove and nutmeg are great for boosting immunity and teething. Maybe a little something for you and me? The scent of ylang ylang is an aphrodisiac. If she sees those two hot items in her stocking, you can bet you’ll be getting the goods tonight, good sir! (You’re welcome, by the way)! Check out essential oils and hydrosols on Mountain Rose Herbs. A wonderful company in Oregon.

Mountain Rose Herbs

5. Seeds and Herbs

A truly crunchy mama wants a victory garden. Start her off with a window herb garden or one plant such as a Bay tree. if she is an accomplished gardener, find her heirloom seeds to plant in her garden this spring. And just a heads up, crunchy mamas usually prefer vegetables or herbs over flowers (unless it’s an edible flower). If we can’t eat it/stir it into an herbal tea, it’s not as exciting.

Mountain Rose Herbs carries seed packets.

6. And while you’re at it, buy her a Compost Bin or UPGRADE to a YUKCHUK. The most EFFICIENT and Homemaker friendly Kitchen Food Waste - Compost Bin available. . Thrifty and eco-friendly!
 
 Come on, baby, let’s make some dirt together!

7. Gift Certificates

Local clothing-store exchange nearby? Or a natural grocery store? Or even a fun unique shop that supports our crunchy-mama ways? (If you’re in Coeur d’Alene, try Beau Monde, Dazzle, Pilgrim’s Market, Sower Bookstore, Mother’s Haven, and Lucky Monkey).

8. Give the Gift of Amazon Prime Membership


This benefits both of us. We get to order any book/natural pantry item/7th generation diapers and have it delivered within two days. You get to watch all the shows. It’s a win-win situation.

9.Natural DIY books or Homemade Cookbooks

We’re pinterest-savvy but there is nothing quite like opening up a good ol’ book. Here is a few to select from:
 

10.Chocolate

You should know this by now but it's just a reminder. Check out these yummy caramels on Abe’s Market. Some are even vegan (great for nursing mothers who are eating dairy-free). And if you’re looking for a chocolate alternative, try carob.

11. Amber Necklaces and Chewbeads

New (or slightly new) addition to the family? These are great for Momma to wear while the little one starts to teeth. Plus they are a cute fashion accessory! These can be found at Mother’s Haven in CDA/Spokane area.

12. Quote Paraphernalia


 It’s like that Portland episode “Put a bird on it!” but we want fun quotes or "whimsical definitions" (like the necklace pictured below from poesyross etsy shop)! Points if the item is useful –journals, coasters, wallets.

I love the coasters pictured above, available from www.erinsmithart.com.

(Picture and "Whimsical Definition Necklace at Poesyross etsy shop)

A lot of items in this list can be found at your local natural grocery store. Just take a trip and bring a list with you! Or feel free to never leave the comfort of your chair and do all your shopping online! 

Have a Merry Christmas!

The Amazon and Mountain Rose Herbs links are affiliate links. Purchasing through these links may help to support this blog! Thanks for all your love and support, sweet readers!
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